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Marian Banaś. The Prosecutor General withdrew the request to waive the immunity of the President of the Supreme Audit Office; investigators need to complete the evidence

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The Regional Prosecutor's Office in Białystok must complete the evidentiary proceedings before renewing the application to waive the immunity of Marian Banaś in an investigation regarding, among other things, suspected irregularities in his asset declarations and tax returns – decided Prosecutor General Adam Bodnar.

The investigation has been conducted in Białystok since 2019. The first request to waive the immunity of the current president of the Supreme Audit Office, i.e. for the Sejm to consent to holding him criminally liable, was submitted to the Parliament at the end of July 2021.

The dozen or so allegations mentioned in this application included, among others: providing untruths in property declarations and tax returns.

Marian Banaś's tax returns

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According to investigators Marian Banaś was to understate income from the lease of a tenement house in Krakow in tax returns for 2015-2020. According to the prosecutor's office, this exposed the State Treasury to a loss of over PLN 50,000. PLN of income tax due.

Despite the positive opinion of the Sejm Rules and Regulations Committee, which recommended the lifting of the immunity of the head of the Supreme Audit Office, the motion was not submitted to the plenary session of the Sejm by the end of the previous parliamentary term.

In the current term, the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Białystok repeated the request to waive the immunity of Marian Banaś; it went to the prosecutor general and the minister of justice Adam Bodnar. As the media reported in January, the investigators extended the application to include two more allegations regarding tax irregularities and possible abuse of powers.

Adam Bodnar's decision

However, Adam Bodnar decided that the application should be returned to the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Białystok, which is investigating this case. – The application was analyzed at the National Prosecutor's Office and it turned out that the evidence collected in this case was incomplete and still needed to be supplemented with very specific activities indicated in the letter returning the application – prosecutor Anna Adamiak, spokeswoman for the Prosecutor General, told PAP on Monday.

– This letter (sent to the prosecutor's office in Białystok – ed.) indicates what procedural steps should be performed in order to assume that a crime has been committed – added prosecutor Adamiak.

– In our opinion, there is a lack of very important evidence that would confirm the thesis and the validity of the charges – she said. She stated that after conducting such evidence, it would be necessary to evaluate all the material collected in the investigation and then decide whether it was sufficient to bring charges against the current president of the Supreme Audit Office, which would require the lifting of his immunity.

She stipulated that she could not provide details regarding these specific evidentiary activities as information covered by the confidentiality of the proceedings. On Monday, PAP was unable to obtain such information from the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Białystok.

Main photo source: Tomasz Gzell/PAP

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